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Best western bit for a horse with a sensitive mouth?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by petchickenlover, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. petchickenlover

    petchickenlover Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    alrighty.. I'm in need of a bit to use to show my mare. Right now i have her in a snaffle, she responds well to it. I wish she was under 6 so i could use the snaffle [​IMG] We'll be doing some western pleasure.. [and maybe some english.. you can't use a western bit for english, can you? [​IMG]]

    Thanks [​IMG]

  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    You should be able to use a short shank 4"-6" with a snaffle mouthpiece....you can use any design you want. The bit and the mouthpiece are usually viewed differently and the "bit" would be a short shank...it is really good for a soft or sensitive mouth. [​IMG]

    You can get a comparable english version...there are subtle differences or HUGE differences, just shop around.

    Good luck to you.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  3. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    With all due respect, I disagree that a curb bit with a jointed or broken mouthpiece (mistakenly referred to as snaffle bit) would be a good choice for a horse with a sensitive mouth. Not only does it have the nutcracker effect of the snaffle bit but the leverage of the shank on top of that. Stick with a low port, with the thick mouth piece and loose cheeks. You did not mention which shows you will be entering but each has its own rules as to what you can use for bits. At any rate, the severity of the bit has more to do with how you use your hands than the bit itself. With soft hands, a curb bit is no more severe than a snaffle.
  4. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
  5. Bantamlover23

    Bantamlover23 Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    Chuluota, FL
    For the most part I agree that a curb is not to severe. But there are some cases that horses do not respond to a solid curb bit. My gelding that I have when I first got him had only been trained with a snaffle. I continued to use a snaffle with him, but when I went to put a solid curb bit, so I could show. He would have none of it. He would start leaning into the bit and not stopping. I then put him in a Tom Thumb which has a snaffle mouth piece and shanks and he was perfect. I think those bits are ok as long as you have good hands and are not in their mouth so much. But that is also with any bit you put in.
  6. BuckMann Farm

    BuckMann Farm In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2009
    Forest Lake, MN
    How old is your mare? Usually you can show in a snaffle up to/and including 4 years of age.
  7. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    When I showed other western events besides gaming I used this http://www.amazon.com/Kathys-Show-Tack-Billy-Reining/dp/B002HI9CCK . Broken mouth but no nutcracker effect. I also have a smaller reining bit with a tiny bit of gag (the mouth piece is set on a tiny circle making it move a little like a snaffle before it locks out and the shanks engage) and a 3 piece mouth like that but the center is just a small donut. I used it to adjust some young horses to curbs. I don't remember what that bit is called to look it up. These days I just ride with a 3 piece dring snaffle, running hackamore, or gag since I only train for and compete in speed events.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    For english you should be able to use your current snaffle, assuming it really IS a snaffle as opposed to a jointed-mouthed curb which is not allowed in some english disciplines (but is in others).

    For western, if you want to (have to) go to a curb, you gotta get her neck-reining well first. Also ideally doing her slowing-down and stopping more from seat and weight than from the bit. Once you've got that, put in whatever she minds least, you won't be *using* it much [​IMG]

    While I think that conventional wisdom is a good place to start I have seen many too many exceptions -- like horses/ponies that really go much more quiet-mouthed and happy in a broken pelham or in a theoretically-more-severe snaffle than they do in supposedly more friendly bits -- to place TOO much weight on what a horse is "supposed" to like. So if you get to the point of she neckreins well and doesn't take much bit in the first place, I'd suggest trying different things (borrow) and just let the horse tell you what's most comfortable for her and use that.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. petchickenlover

    petchickenlover Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    my mare is estimated to be 18+.. yes, the bit i have her in is a snaffle, not a jointed-mouthed curb..

    I've been meaning to talk to my trainer about it, but she's been stressed [and busy] from taking two of her horses to a show. [​IMG]

    thanks everyone [​IMG]

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